Eddie Cummings interview (very interesting read)

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Drew Foster, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Interview is from http://www.flograppling.com/article/32871-on-guard-eddie-cummings-talks-grappling-philosophy posted on 8/15/15

    Part 1

    What is your personal philosophy on grappling?

    My personal philosophy is that grappling is the study of control of another human being that leads to submission. Our goal is ultimately to control, but not simply to control them, control them in a manner that allows us to climb off on a limb or the neck and apply a hold that forces our opponent to give up for fear of suffering bodily harm or going unconscious. So that is how I approach the sport, everything is about the submission.

    Your game is geared towards submission and your game really starts at your guard. What lead to you becoming a guard puller?

    When I was a white belt, like all white belts, I watched the Eddie Bravo documentary detailing his quest to ADCC, read his books and all that. I admit it, I read all the 10th Planet books. And he actually did make a really good point about pulling half guard. In tournaments you look to pull half guard just to get the jiu jitsu going right away. And you
     
  2. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Part 2
    The Danaher system of leg locking is being talked about a lot right now, can you give some insight on what makes it so effective?

    I truly believe that the most effective part of Danaher’s teaching system is his approach to grappling in general. He comes from a philosophy background, so he is very good at learning and studying things. And he studies techniques and movement like a scientist and he encourages us to study like scientists; to experiment, to adapt, to evolve, and throw out what doesn’t work, to keep what does work. And we are constantly in the process of evolving our technique in a very deep way. I think you’ll see in these upcoming tournaments, I’ve adapted my game quite a bit. I don’t do heel hooks the way I did in the ADCC trials for instance, I use different entries and I use different grips and leg positioning for the finish. So I’ve spent most of my time on the mats the past six to seven weeks getting this to be a habit so I don’t go back to the old habits, which we determined to be less than efficient. So ultimately I think it is very effective because it is always adapting, it is actually very fascinating to me to watch the evolution of my personal heel hook over say the past three years, under Danaher’s guidance and it has evolved so deeply. Periodically I see video of myself explaining everything I know about a heel hook, and every few months I do this, and once in a while I’ll go back and watch these videos it is incredible how wrong I was, how I have a lack of understanding, I couldn’t even demonstrate the heel hook right! Within three months I’ll see all the details I’m fixing and that I gained in that time.

    So I think more than anything else it is adaptability, I know this a long answer, but adaptability that is what makes it work so well and the overall approach to the sport.

    As someone who is still learning the basics of leg locks, the more I focus on being offensive with leg locks the more I realize how important the placement of my feet matters when attacking a leg. You guys have a nomenclature for the different foot positions, so can you talk a bit about that? Is the ashi garami the baseline position?

    Certainly a standard ashi garami is where we start with the leg game, at least conceptually. When teaching people we almost always start with the standard ashi garami for control, it is just a very robust position; it is easy to get to, it has the ability to keep a person’s weight off you, it’s dynamic, you can let it go easily, you don’t get stuck in bad positions and it is a little more challenging for someone to counter you there, you have a lot more mobility, there are good sweeping options, it is not the best at any one thing but it is pretty good at all of them. So it is a decent place to start.

    Of course we evolve a bunch of other positions out of that. Like the outside ashi garami, where both my legs are connected outside my opponent’s hips, then of course there is 50/50 where my legs are connected outside with his heels across the body. And then we have all the positions where my legs are triangled inside my opponent's legs, the 4-11 and the Inside Sankaku. However even within those four broad distinctions of where my legs are triangle and where my foot is, we have a bunch of different ways of triangling our legs, crossing our legs, and uncrossing our legs. And those in and of themselves are very interesting, for instance in outside ashi garami we played with at least five different leg positionings with the legs on the outside. Different patterns, different ways to triangle the legs, so it can very intricate, very deep, very quickly. Overall I think people will gravitate towards their preferences and what they feel is working best for them, but the standard ashi garami is an excellent place to start.

    So you get a lot of finishes from the ashi garami and seem to really start your game there, but if an opponent is defending well do you prefer to go inside or outside?

    Ultimately I think I’d like my legs inside with really good control. Which is rare and challenging to get. If you tell me I have an unconscious person and I can put them in any position I want, wake them up and then go: I’d triangle my legs on the side like the inside sankaku with an inverted heel hook locked. But again against a resisting who is counter leg locking and knows what he is doing and is rolling out the right way the outside ashi garami is, I feel, much more tolerant of my opponent’s movement. It is a much more challenging position to get out of and I am able to transition to a lot of other positions, even coming up on top for passes and such. So it depends on what I want and what my opponent is doing. I actually think the most devastating leg lock of all, if someone is not resisting you at all is a kneebar. However on a resisting opponent there is a lot of defensive resources for that.

    So on September 12th you are facing Reilly Bodycomb at Polaris 2, another grappler known for his leg locks, and his heel hook in particular. Reilly hails from a Sambo background. While you guys have similar submission games, do you see any subtle differences in your leg lock games that people might miss at first glance?

    I’m sure his game as evolved first of all his background, Sambo definitely emphasizes reaping more so than my original background under Danaher. However we both use both types of positions, triangles outside and triangles inside, depending on what our opponent is doing. So I’m sure we’ve evolved different preferences and different approaches but the mechanics, the idea, and actually a lot of the set ups are fairly similar, which is why it is an interesting match. And in that we are both going for the submission, it is not like either one of us has a history of stalling. I’d say if you want to pick a difference he probably emphasizes setting up the reap a little more than we do, but I know Reilly has been evolving his game since his early instructionals, which I was a student of myself back when I was coming up. I’m sure his game has evolved quite a bit since then. Also Sambo tournament rules force them to be a little more hurried in their submissions than jiu jitsu players necessarily are. I can hold a person in a pinning leg lock position for a very long time where if I was a Sambo competitor I’d be encouraged to go for the finish a little quicker, take a few more risks to get to a bit more dynamic position just because I need to go for the finish within a certain time frame. So there may be a small aspect of that but he trains submission grappling every day with his students, he was training with Ryan Hall so I’m sure he knows how jiu jitsu players play. It is not so much a match between jiu jitsu and Sambo, we are submission grapplers with a slightly different background, I think everything is pretty modernized nowadays.

    So regardless of how the match turns out, will you consent to a Magic the Gathering rematch with Bodycomb backstage after your match?

    I think that is the only logical conclusion to our jiu jitsu battle. It would be unreasonable if that didn’t happen. I saw the video of him and Ryan Hall, I think I will be a more formidable match for [Bodycomb], he may have some problems. The grappling matchup is interesting, but the Magic the Gathering matchup, far more intriguing.

    Someone will have to get out their cellphone and record it for the community when it goes down.

    Oh yeah, it’ll happen. Polaris is fun, I’m sure we’re all going to go out after.

    At the time of this interview you're getting ready for the Eddie Bravo Invitational, then after that it is ADCCs and then Polaris. That is an intense time frame, what is your ideal rate of competition? Is a Miyao-like schedule of once a week or something a little less frequent?

    I have done that and competed every weekend. And I do like that, the nerves melt away and you definitely stay sharp. There is definitely a lot stress involved though with that, at the higher level the risk of injury gets higher actually. All your opponents really know how to break you, they know how to injure, if they joint lock they are going to go hard. They are going to bring a fight to you, so I don’t think you can compete at that level, for a length of time, every weekend. We talked about this, me and Garry Tonon, about what the optimal competition schedule would be like when Metamoris offered Garry that false contract. Basically once a month would be perfect. Guaranteeing competitors once a month it is just enough to stay sharp, plenty of downtime in between to rest up and re-look at your game. So if I could compete once a month, that would be perfect for me, preferably super fights and things like that. It would be different if we were talking sub only, no time limit tournaments, those can be a little more intense. But that would be ideal for me, this competing every two weeks coming up is a little bit intense. But again I do enjoy it, ultimately this why pursue this art and why we want to further it in the public eye. This is how you do serious things, in high pressure competition, so it is exciting to be part of that as much as possible.
     
  3. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Part 3

    Okay, so you’ve mentioned Garry Tonon, your training partner a few times. It is well known things getting pretty competitive around Garry, right?

    [Laughs] Extremely. Extremely so.

    So I’ve heard tales about bowling between you two, who is the better bowler?

    I mean I’m a better bowler, by far. Garry, he tries but he just can’t hang. Just can’t hang, just can’t handle it. We’ve had an epic bowling match, to the point where our fingers were damaged for the next day’s training.

    In an interview with the Verbal Tap Podcast Garry talked about driving around all night looking for a bowling alley with you?

    So the actually story goes like this: we drove to Ohio in the dead of winter. Which is as horrible as it sounds, and if you’ve ever been in a car with Garry you’ll know that your life flashes before your eyes consistently for the whole twelve hour ride or eight rather, if he is driving. So we get there in the middle of a snowstorm for the Dean Lister seminar, which was Saturday and we were going to train with him on Sunday. So we do the seminar on Saturday, we go out to eat, you know we have some downtime. It is me and Garry and we bring along two of our blue belts at the time. His blue belt Gordon Ryan and my blue belt Kenny Fong, who used to train with when I was at Progressive Martial Arts. So we decided let’s get a friendly game in, and this friendly game which started at 7 or 8 o’clock at night gets extremely heated to the point where Garry refuses to stop until he and his blue belt beat me and my blue belt.

    So if I was a reasonable man I would have just let him win, but I am not a reasonable man. And this continues till midnight when they are ready to throw us out of this bowling alley. Garry, he had took some games, but were hanging in there and we at least beat him once for sure. He decided we are going to find an all-night bowling alley.

    So we go find another bowling alley, driving around in Ohio in the middle of a snowstorm looking for a 24-hour bowling alley. We find one unfortunately and we are there until maybe 3 or 4 in the morning, my fingers are numb, both blue belts are mentally broken. They don’t want to go on, Garry and I are threatening them with demotion if they don’t continue and play well. All this time we had to train with Dean Lister in like four hours.

    We eventually called it a draw, or maybe Garry did eventually win, I don’t know. To be honest I just can’t remember, I do remember the war that occurred though.
     
  4. sha

    sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    Really interesting. I'd love to know more about their leglock position nomenclature.
     
  5. Steve08

    Steve08 American Fedor Belt

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  6. Gambledub

    Gambledub Brown Belt

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    [​IMG]

    Here are the ones he mentioned specifically.

    1: Ashi Garami
    2: Double Outside Ashi
    3: 50/50 (Outside Leg Triange)
    4: 4/11 (Inside Leg Triangle)

    Each position has a bunch of variations and transitions to the other positions.
     
  7. SuperAzn812

    SuperAzn812 Green Belt

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    Interesting read. Great to see the leg lock game get more and more popular.
     
  8. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Great interview. Huge Cummings fan, I hope he does well at ADCC. I think he's right on about wrestling in BJJ, how the lack of stalling calls means that most BJJ standup ends up taking interminably long. Seems like a cool dude.
     
  9. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    I know the 50-50, and I can recognize ashi garami and outside ashi garami. What I would like to know is where he says "...And then we have all the positions where my legs are triangled inside my opponent's legs, the 4-11 and the Inside Sankaku." Sankaku is triangle in Japanese so I just assume he means the inside leg triangle. But I always thought that the inside leg triangle and the 4-11/saddle were sort of the same thing?


    ashi garami

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    outside ashi garami (both feet go to the outside of the opponent's body, while their foot stays on the outside. I don't know if there's a difference in name if the legs are triangled or separate)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The I don't know what Danaher/Cummings/Tonon would call this general leg configuration, but I've known it as an inside leg triangle/4-11/saddle.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nnedd

    Nnedd Centaur Booty Belt

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    Good stuff, thanks for the pictures and gif as well, Drew.
     
  11. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Has anyone ever tried this? So from the 50/50 inside heel hook, taking the outside foot and reaping or just placing it on the other person. Is it just helpful to keep the other person from closing the distance to hand-fight with you?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've seen Ryan Hall do something similar where he start the 50/50 heel hook and then stomps the outside leg all the way across their body to their far hip, which stops them from being able to roll out.

    Check out 2:55 and watch Hall's right leg.
     
  12. Shot

    Shot Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    It's main purpose is to keep the opponent from being able to spin out of your inverted heelhook from 50/50. When Garry applied it to Maxwell, thats what got Maxwell stuck enough for the finish. With that being said though, you have to be sure you have a solid grip on their heel before you do it because they can easily counter attack you. You have to be confident you can win that race.

    As far as your earlier question as to the difference between 4/11 and inside Senkaku, there is no difference as far as I know. At least John's never treated them differently. I think it was more of just a grammatical error.
     
  13. Shot

    Shot Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    Accurate. But with number two, I don't know why 10th planet refers to it as Double Outside Ashi. We always called it just Outside Ashi-Garami.

    And also never spread your legs out from the position as in that pic. You're asking for your opponent to either 1) pummel his arm under your nearside leg and come up to stack or 2) reattack you with an inside heelhook
     
  14. kying418

    kying418 Blue Belt

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    If I'm in my opponents half guard (I'm in top position), and I enter the 411/honey hole/ saddle position by doing a backstep pass- will the resulting position be considered a knee reap in IBJJF rules?

    The end result would seem to be a reap, but I didnt open my legs to cross the feet over.
     
  15. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    No, it shouldn't be. Reason being, uke's leg that you're 'reaping' is on the inside of your body, and as such you're not turning the knee inward with leg pressure. Having a leg across his body is not reaping, it's only reaping if you're forcing his knee inward. At a local tournament though don't be surprised if you get warned or penalized for it.
     
  16. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    Thank you so much!
     
  17. Gambledub

    Gambledub Brown Belt

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    Thanks for the details! So would you just keep your feet crossed or triangled similar to 50/50?
     
  18. Shot

    Shot Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    No problem. I like to go bottom foot over top and then dig my feet into their ribs. This helps prevent them from grabbing your head/rolling you and stacking you, which happens extremely often when you first experiment with the position.

    It's such a powerful heelhooking position though that it's definitely worth putting time into. You can dig out their heel easier, transition to other positions, and you're own feet are a lot safer as opposed to regular Ashi-Garami. A lot of the higher level leglock guys at Renzos (and there are a lot of them, haha) are hesitant to linger in ashi-garami against each other because the counter leglocking game is now a thing. You kinda saw a preview of that when Eddie worked some his counters against Joe Soto
     
  19. Gambledub

    Gambledub Brown Belt

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    Very interesting, thanks! I'm very much an amateur with leg locks and this position is by far the hardest to find info on! Am I correct in assuming the transition to the outside ashi is in response to the counter heel hook, where you reach down and grab the heel, similar to this

    [​IMG]
     
  20. kying418

    kying418 Blue Belt

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    thank you!
     

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